How To Clear Recent Files And Folder From Your Mac

Whenever you click on Recents in the Finder, you are displayed with a huge list of files. This includes search queries, shortcuts to files (that are used to create folders), logs for recently opened applications/files, servers to which you have lately connected, and more, which most of you might not be even aware of.  

To be honest, finding and clearing these traces manually after each session is certainly not possible. It can be a cumbersome process to locate these files and clear them. In this article, we’ll discuss some common ways to clear recent files on Mac. 

But before you proceed, we would like to introduce you to a hassle-free workaround that can help you clean your Mac in a way, so that no logs and privacy/identity exposing traces can reveal about you and your latest activities.

Simplest and Easiest Way to Clean Your Mac

Keeping the importance of spring cleaning, optimization & security in mind, one of the most renowned IT Solutions companies, Systweak Software has designed a fantastic app Cleanup My System for Mac users. With it, users can easily find and clean useless cache files, system junk, trash items, digital footprints, and other unwanted data. It provides multiple modules ranging from One Click Care, Cache Cleaner, Junk Cleaner, Trash Cleaner, Mail Attachments cleaner, Startup Manager, Uninstall Manager, Large & Old Files remover, Disk Analyzer. 

And most importantly, Privacy Protector helps users to easily clean browsing history, autofill data, search history, and digital footprints left behind while using Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. It even features a useful Identity Protector module that takes complete control of information and reviews, analyses, and deletes passwords that may make you a victim of data breach attacks. It also creates a shield for your financial and personal information saved on browsers.

Cleanup My System

So, this was an easy and time-saving solution. But some of you might want to ditch using a third-party tool to get the task done. Worry not, we have something for everyone. For the DIY types, here are the manual ways to clear recent files and history on Mac.

How To Clear Recent Files, Folder, And Documents In Finder On Mac

Generally, to avoid digital data collection when browsing the web, people use private browsing mode. But again remembering it each time when you visit a site is not possible.

Accessing a site when using the web browser in normal mode, leaves a security gap, and anyone can see search history, cache, cookies, and other data.

Therefore, bridging this gap is very important. So, here we explain how to clear privacy exposing traces from any browser(s). This will help speed up the browser and boost Mac’s performance.

In addition to this, we will also explain how to clear recent files in Finder on Mac.

How to Clear Recent Items on Mac

To clear history of recently viewed files, folders or documents on Mac follow the steps explained below:

1. Click Apple icon

2. From the menu select Recent Items > this will list down recently used documents and apps.


Clear Recent Files


3. Scroll down and click Clear Menu.


Clean Folder From Mac


4. This will clear all the items that you can see in the Recent Items list.

5. To confirm that the data is deleted click the Apple icon > Recent Items.

6. You’ll now not see any items in the list. This means the list showing recent files, documents on Mac is now cleared.

Using Terminal command disable document history

If you want a permanent solution to this document history problem, you can use a Terminal command. Using it, you will be able to decide whether to hide or show recent items. To use, follow the steps below:

1. Head to Applications > Utilities


Clean Folder From Mac


2. Click Terminal to open it

3. Here, enter the following command and press Enter:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE killall Finder

This command will make Finder show all hidden files.

4. Now, to hide everything use, the following command:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE killall Finder

This way you can show or hide recent files in Finder on Mac.

Alternatively, you can press CMD + SHIFT to show or hide files and then can clear recently opened document history.

Use whichever way you like and clear documents, background running apps, or any processes that might be taking up processing power.

Now, let’s learn how to clear browsing data and cookies from the popular browsers on Mac.

How to clear Activity History in browsers like Safari, Firefox, and Chrome?(2021)

If you use multiple browsers, there’s nothing to worry about. You can quickly find and delete search history from each browser by following the steps explained below:

However, if you are short on time, you can use advanced security utilities like Cleanup My System to find and clean all privacy exposing traces with just a click.

Simply install Cleanup My System and look for the Protection module in the left pane. Click on it and run a scan to find browsing traces, privacy-exposing data of each browser in one place. Additionally, you can utilize other modules like Cache & Logs, Junk, Mail Attachment, Trash & more to get rid of all the potential threats and obsolete data in no time.

Cleanup My System


Steps to clear cookies from Safari – Manually

1. Open Safari browser

2. Click Safari from the top menu > Clear History


Clear Recent Files


3. Now to clean cache, cookies again click Safari from the top menu.

4. Select Preferences


Clear Recent Files


5. Click Preferences > Privacy > Manage Website Data


Clear Recent Files from Mac


6. This will open a pop-up window. Wait for it to show results and click Remove All > Done


Clean Folder From Mac


That’s all. You have successfully cleared cookies and other recent data from Safari.

Manual way to clear History from Firefox

1. Launch Firefox

2. Click Firefox from the top menu and select Preferences


Clear Recent Files


3. This will open a new window, here click Privacy & Security option from the left pane. Scroll down and look for Cookies and Site Data section.


Clean Folder From Mac


4. Click Clear Data

5. Select both options Cookies and Site Data and Cached Web Content > Clear

5. This will clear cache and cookies from Firefox. In addition to this to clear history under the History, tab clicks Clear History.


Clear Recent Files


This will erase all browsing history from Firefox on your Mac.

Clearing Browsing Data, Cache, Cookies Manually on Chrome

1. Launch Chrome

2. Click “Chrome” in the top toolbar > Clear Browsing Data.


Clean Folder From Mac


3. You will now get a box to select which data you want to delete. Select the ones you want to delete and the timeline.


Clean Folder From Mac


That’s it all the search history and other data is now cleared.

Using these simple steps, you can clear caches, logs, launch agents manually from the browser. However, this is just the small portion of the clutter your Mac has on it. Alongside browser data, there are old, large files, temp files, logs, and other data that take valuable disk space and slow down Mac. Therefore, if you want to get rid of all this unwanted data, try Cleanup My System – a hassle-free cleaning & optimization solution provider for all Mac-related problems.

Using this tool is pretty simple. To learn how to use Cleanup My System, follow the steps below:

1. Download and install Cleanup My System.

2. Once installed, click on the Smart Cleanup module and scan your Mac for unnecessary files.

3. Wait for the scan to get completed and click on Clean Now to clear these traces.

Cleanup My System

This will help boost Mac speed, clean Mac, and clear all files, folders, documents from history.

Isn’t all this simple? You or anyone in your family with a click of a button can optimize Mac and clear recent files on Mac in Finder. We hope you find these steps helpful. Please share your experience with us in the comments box.

Leave a Reply